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Japanese History Compared To the West

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Historically, the western countries have always been regarded as the power hub of the world. This notion has been always being attributed to their social, monetary and political might. Concerning economy, the western countries are presumed to have adopted industrialism a way before different countries in the world. For instance, by the time Japan was once adopting industrialism, America had made quite recommendable progress in that field. Politically, the western nations are also said to have developed useful political systems whereas other international locations like Japan were still the usage of unclearly defined legislative and political structures. Socially, Japan has portrayed some differences and similarities to the western countries' social, cultural beliefs and activities (Totman and Conrad, 2). This paper will provide a detailed comparative exposition that seeks to compare the history of Japan to that of western countries.
In the 16th century, Japan was just an average country with regard to its economic status. At the time, the country only engaged in partially uncoordinated trade and resource exploitation. Owing to the country's population and the government structure at the time, the proceeds from the economic activities did not translate to recognizable development in the country (Faith 5). The European countries were amazed by the artisanship of the Japanese people and tried to emulate them. The economy of Japan took a drastic turn after the Second World War when the country became the second strongest economy in the world, after United States of America. Japan has managed to maintain its strong economy and shown improvement by virtue of all other parameters used to gauge a countries development (Faith, 6).
Traditionally, Japan and the western countries have always differed on their view and approach to religion. Whereas Christianity dominates most of the western countries, the majority of the people from Japan religiously identify with Shintoism and Buddhism, especially Buddhism. Unlike the West where Christian missionaries can proudly brag about their missionary activities bearing fruits, in Japan, their activities had little or no impact on the Japanese religion and philosophical ideologies (Totman and Conrad, 2). It would also be justified to insinuate that the Japanese approach to religion is largely reserved as traditional and superstitious rather than personal spiritual orientation. Ever since the shogans era, Abrahamic faith and teachings have always been disregarded in favor of Buddhism in Japan.
Historically, Japan has always been known for being so conservative on gender roles. In Japan, over the years, men have always been considered superior to women. Japanese have drawn a clear line of various gender roles, the men taking the authoritative roles as the women are culturally expected to be submissive and accept to be led. Most of the western countries, however, have adopted cultures whereby men and women are considered equal and are free to take up any role within the society (Germer, Andrea, Vera, Mackie and Wöhr, 3). For instance, in Japan, there are very few women in leadership positions, even to date. In the western countries, like America, women and men are given equal chances, and opportunities are offered on the basis of merit without any gender bias.
Totman, Conrad. A history of Japan. John Wiley & Sons, 2014.
Germer, Andrea, Vera Mackie, and Ulrike Wöhr, eds. Gender, nation, and state in modern Japan. Routledge, 2014.
Flath, David. The Japanese Economy. OUP Oxford, 2014.

July 24, 2021




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